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Know Thy Enemy: Revolution at Red Bulls Edition

Can 500 Revolution fans survive mobile ticketing entry to get into RBA and help New England leave with a point?

SOCCER: APR 20 MLS - New York Red Bulls at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Some of you may have already seen/read my rant about today’s ticketing nonsense from my tweets a couple of days ago. I’m going to reinforce my issue with those tickets right here before getting down to business and making the three-hour trek via train to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ and then hopefully declaring at least one point when I reach the NY/CT border.

Mobile tickets are dumb and I hate them. No, I don’t just hate them because I’m 87, and hate smartphones, and just want to print my tickets like everywhere else - I hate them because they aren't convenient. And I’m allowed to say this because I sold baseball tickets for a decade and the two worst years I spent doing that involved trying to take scans and photos of QR mobile codes on tickets and phones. It didn’t work and my baseball team scrapped the plan after just two years and went back to our old, out-dated system because at least it could function on a daily basis.

For today’s game, I have to create a TicketMaster account specifically for the New York Red Bulls website because I couldn’t log in with the TicketMaster account that I used/re-activated just two weeks ago to go to the Revs-LAFC game. Then I have to accept the tickets that I purchased from the wonderful New England Revolution supporters groups (H/T to Matty Pugliese, the Rebels, and Riders). And THEN, I have to download the RBNY team app to access the mobile ticket to get into the stadium.

That is, by far, the dumbest thing I’ve ever had to do to get in at a sporting event.

Do you know why I hate mobile apps? Because they don’t work all the time. If my access to my ticket is dependent on the cell service around RBA at like 645pm this evening, your ticketing system sucks. If anyone’s access to their ticket is dependent on them even owning a smartphone, something I didn’t have until two years ago and still hate having, your ticketing system sucks.

Any time you make assumptions about your customers and their access to certain forms of technology, your ticketing system and business model sucks. I’m sure that RBA and other stadiums are great at helping the few hundred/thousand or small percentage of fans with will-call pick up and other non-mobile accommodations and I do appreciate the massive effort of many businesses to go paperless.

Despite that, this system is inviting a host of other issues by relying on the customer’s technology and not the business’/team’s and that is a failure of the design of this system in my opinion. I am paying your team/stadium/site for a service, and call me old school, but I’m relying on your team/stadium/site to complete that service, not my cell phone or data plan. Also, for those teams/venues/sites that charge extra fees for the convenient ability to print out my tickets at my own home, you can go pound sand too.

No one cares about my complaints because at the end of the day, the RBNY team app will get a few hundred extra downloads from New England area codes and that’s probably the real reason why this system exists. It’s also the reason it’s getting uninstalled from my phone the second I’m on the PATH train back to NYC and Grand Central Station. Or you can buy this NFL program and have a non-specific ticket to the preseason game you went too!

I’m not mad...I am not mad... **throws something**

While I’m razzing on soccer mobile apps, hey MLS, yours is pants too. I’ve played rounds of golf faster than it takes your app to load the timeline or stats within a GameCenter page and that includes the time I waste when it crashes on me which is all the damn time.

Now sort your nonsense out RBNY so I can print out a ticket and put it next to the one I have from the 2014 ECF First Leg. And get off my lawn ...

Anyway, on to happier things, like giving my good friend Daniel Feuerstein grief for not having me on his podcast in a while and that’s totally his fault and has nothing to do with my work schedule. A Revs win would draw them level on points in the Eastern Conference standings though RBNY would still have tiebreakers in wins and a massive goal difference advantage.

Check out Dan’s podcast “Feuerstein’s Fire” and head over to Once A Metro for their coverage of the Revs at Red Bulls tonight.

TBM: So the last time I joined your podcast, we talked about Brad Friedel getting sacked...and since you haven’t had me back on (mostly because of my lousy work schedule :P ), I assume you’re afraid of the Revs who are just three points back of RBNY. What have you noticed about New England’s turnaround with Bruce Arena?

DF: First things first, I’m only concerned about your lack of availability for my show as your work hours have changed.

(JC: This is true, I work evenings now. And that Friedel podcast like 3 months ago I did under the bleachers right before the Hartford Athletic-NY Cosmos USOC game...that I took a day off from regular work to go to.)

But in reality this is not a surprise to me. Bruce Arena will always have that golden touch to turn a side that has been poor and lousy, into a world beater. Bruce Arena still has it no matter what today’s Soccer fan thinks. Did he fail with his second stint with the National Team? In some ways yes, but, I blame the players for their poor mental makeup for that poor performance at T&T

TBM: Brian White has been a revelation up front to lead RBNY in scoring this year. While that’s good, the decline of BWP and Kaku seems troubling. Can RBNY make a playoff run without their big DP’s firing on all cylinders?

DF: Brian White has played strong and has learned a lot from the master in BWP. He was highly sought after by then head coach Jesse Marsch. While he did play for the Red Bulls USL League 2 squad for two seasons, he wasn’t an Academy player for the club. So drafting him two years ago was a huge pick up. For BWP, it’s not so much he has declined, picking up that groin injury has been a real issue for him to get back to playing a full 90 minute game. Groin injuries are very tricky, so playing him as a substitute is a smart move.

When it comes to Kaku, this has been a strange season. We don’t know if he truly wants to stay or go, because of the past issues during the pre-season of him wanting to be at Club America right now. one year at Red Bulls in my mind, doesn’t mean you should be demanding a transfer right away. But for now I believe he will stay and honor his contract.

TBM: The Eastern Standings are a log jam, particularly around the red line with five teams within just four points of each other. RBNY is above that fray, but only just - where does RBNY end up in the final East rankings?

DF: I think if certain things fall into place, the Red Bulls will at least finish in the top three of the east and host a playoff game. There is still plenty of games left for them to try and unseat the Union as they have a match left against them, but honestly, a top three finish will be in the cards for them.